View Full Version : Austin to Santa Fe - route

12-11-2008, 08:24 AM
Driving from Austin, TX to Santa Fe, NM for Christmas vacation. We made the drive last summer via I-10 to 285 and it took about 14 hours.

I just checked google maps and now the route it gives is I-10 to I-25 (897 mi about 13 hours 1 min). But the route it gives for I-10 to 285 is less miles, more time (750 mi about 13 hours 15 mins).

Why the difference?
Does google account for winter road conditions?
Would driving 147 more miles really take less time?

12-11-2008, 08:37 AM
I prefer that route, but it does take longer. US Highways are still subject to local traffic laws when going through towns so you wind up getting stopped at red lights and the speeds will often drop to 35 mph. It's a very pretty route. I've taken it from Santa Fe to Pecos, TX before turning east onto I-20 to go to Louisiana.

The longer time is made up for (in my opinion) by all the cool things you see. 285 will take you through Carlsbad Caverns (http://www.nps.gov/CAVE) and Roswell, NM (http://www.roswellnm.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=56) (one of my favorite places on this planet).

I've never driven it during the winter, though. So that could definitely impact your route decision.


12-11-2008, 09:43 AM
You have to take what a mapping program says with a few grains of salt. I just ran it through Microsoft Streets and Trips and got the following for fastest route:

I-35 to Georgetown, TX-29 to US-183 to US-67 to US-84 to US-83 to Abilene. I-20 to US-84 around Lubbock to US-60 through Clovis to US-84 to Santa Rosa. I-40 to US-285 into Santa Fe.

705 miles, 11 hours 49 minutes. I doubt you would be able to make it that fast unless you are the type that destroys speed limits in the middle of nowhere on 2 lane roads.

How would I go in the winter? US-290 out of Austin to I-10 to I-25. I don't think any of the mapping programs account for the 80 mph speed limit on I-10 in West Texas and if you drive that fast you will probably cut some time off the prediction. However, the prediction does not account for ANY stops.

12-11-2008, 02:05 PM
I agree with glc. You can haul across West Texas. It may be more miles but you can make it a lot faster that way. Except for El Paso and Albuquerque traffic should be fairly light.

12-11-2008, 02:18 PM
A couple years ago, I made the longest single day run solo that I have made in many many years. It was 805 miles from the east side of Dallas to Lordsburg, NM. I made it in about 13 hours, including gas and potty stops, and one lunch stop in Van Horn (if you want to call Mickey D's "lunch"). I ran almost all of West Texas at 85 mph. I had to get through and out of Dallas at the tail end of morning rush hour and through El Paso at the tail end of evening rush hour.

12-12-2008, 07:39 PM
I rode my motorcycle from Albuquerque to Austin in single day a few years back.

Leave Santa Fe on I-25 north and cut south to I-40, then it's on to Santa Rosa-Ft Sumner-Clovis-Lubbock-Abilene-Austin.

12-29-2008, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the replies. Just wanted to follow up and let you know the I-10 to 285 route took about 1.5 hours less.

Took I-10 to 285 on Friday

Return I-25 to I-10 on Saturday, hit traffic in El Paso around lunch time and would hate to see it on a weekday. Also, this route is more remote and boring than going up 285.

Southwest Dave
12-30-2008, 06:32 AM
Hi there,

Thank-you for popping in with the feedback, I hope it all went well.